I’ve just updated my article, “When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog?” Originally published in June of 2006, once a year I update the post, continuing to evaluate when is the best time and day of the week to publish a post on your blog, helping you make your own decisions compared to my experiences and conclusions.
My conclusions then still right true today:
1. It isn’t about when you post, it’s about when the most people visit your blog. You want new content released before they arrive.
2. There are two levels of “traffic” to consider when examining best times and days: 1) blog reading traffic and 2) comments. They could be the same or they could be different.
3. Understanding when is the best time of day to post, you can better time the release of new material.
4. Understanding which day of the week your traffic levels will be the highest helps you target the release of your most “powerful or poignant” content.
5. Societal and cultural calendars impact traffic levels associated with the work days and time habits of your specific audience. In the US, Monday is the first work day of the week, but in some countries, it’s Sunday. Some countries take long breaks in the middle of their day, like a siesta, which may mean more or less traffic depending upon the society’s Internet habits during that break. Other regions start work very early in the morning and close early. Others get moving and active around 9 or 10 in the morning but stay open until 9 or 10 at night. If you write for a specific society, culture, or community, learn the ebbs and flows of their schedules and preferences their online time and habits.
6. Traffic spikes due to listing on Digg, Slashdot, Wired, or other popular traffic-driving sites or social bookmarking services don’t count. They skew everything.
When people ask me in workshops and speaking events on blogging about when they should publish their blog posts, they aren’t really asking when to publish. They are asking:
- How often should I publish on my blog?
- What time of day should I publish to get the most readers?
- What day of the week should I publish to be seen by the most people?
- What time and day should I publish in order to get the most traffic?
- What time and day should I publish to get the most comments?
The answers to these questions are different, depending on your end bloggy goals.
How Often Should I Publish on My Blog?
The answer most tell you is to publish when you have content. I agree. When you have something valuable to say, it’s the time to publish – sort of.
I believe in not rushing to the publishing gate every time I have something to say. I like to mull it over, process my thoughts, and gather them together into some sort of well thought out coherency. My readers are looking for information, but many are also looking for insights into how this all works, not just what and why. They want to know how to do it better. Unless I can figure out how to do it better, I’m wasting their time and mine.
You should publish when you have something of quality to share with your readers, and you should publish on a fairly regular basis. This covers you for most of the SEO and PageRank issues, proving you have consistency and perseverance with your blog, but it also shows your readers you are committed to your blog. How often is a matter of perspective and need.
For some, publishing every day is important, for others, many times in a day. If you have that much to say, then say it. Take care not to burn your readers out with feed fatigue, publishing too much information in a short time.
If you only need to publish one or two posts a week, then do so. Just keep publishing fairly consistent and don’t publish just to publish. Publish when you have something of value to share.
There is a more important issue at hand when it comes to determining how often you should publish on your blog. How have you trained your readers?
We Train Our Readers to Perform for Us and Them
Every Tuesday evening, fans of Liz Strauss line up on her blog for Tuesday Open Comment Night where the readers give their all to the blog conversation through the comment box. For about three years, Liz has trained her readers to be there on her blog for conversation and fun. She’s had some really good giggles, too, like The Mic is On: We’re Talking Turkeys, Aliens Leave Behind the Link Leak Virus, Link Leak Virus Attack and a New Record Is Set!, The Mic Is on in Search of Pirates!, The Mic Is on at the Neighborhood Hangout, and The Mic in ON in Tuscany!
Every Wednesday (or Thursday) you will find me in panic mode, gathering up all the WordPress news and information I can find and publishing it for the Blog Herald WordPress Wednesday News. People depend upon that, including many WordPress podcasters, to help them learn more about what WordPress is doing and what to expect in the near future. It’s a round up of WordPress news, events, Plugins, Themes, and tips.
If you publish every day at the same or similar time, people expect it. If you miss a few days, people get worried. Some resort to email and comments asking if you are okay. You missed your due date.
We train our readers to show up. Your show up time is different from mine, so the stats I report on in “When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog?” will be different from yours. If you train them, they will come, so be ready for their arrival.
What Time of Day Should I Publish to Get The Most Readers?
This is a confusing question. Are you publishing to get the most readers who would be regularly visiting your blog at a specific time, or publishing to encourage new readers?
If you are publishing to serve the most regular readers at a specific time, then publish one to three hours before your highest readership levels, which is when the most people are on your blog.
On one blog of mine, most of my readers show up by 9AM EST (USA). The stats stay fairly high until about 5PM EST and then fall off. On another, they show up the most about noon EST, peak at 6PM EST and then rise again about 10PM EST, then drop off immediately.
To serve the most readers on my blog, I’d want that day’s blog content to be published before the group arrives, a few hours before, so it is waiting for them when they arrive. It doesn’t matter when, it’s just there for their visit, like having dinner ready when the guests arrive rather than cooking it while they are there.
In order to maximize the traffic you do have with a return on the investment of that traffic – in other words, encourage them to recommend your post to others, thus attracting new readers and visitors to your blog, the post must be there when the regular readers arrive. From there, it must be something worth recommending. Your readers should take it from there.
What Day of the Week Should I Publish to be Seen by The Most People?
The same holds true for the previous question of what time of day should you publish to get the most visibility. You publish on the day you generally get the most traffic.
For most of my blogs, the heavy traffic numbers begin Sunday night and continue through Wednesday, falling off about Wednesday afternoon and descending down until Sunday night to repeat. Some don’t start the trend until Monday morning, falling off on Thursday, but that covers the regular high traffic averages.
When evaluating your traffic across the week, you need to look at the traffic from a macro rather than micro perspective.
If you are looking at a single week, it won’t help you evaluate the averages, since some posts will pull in more traffic than others due to their content not the time nor day of the week they are published. Holidays, trends, weather, seasons, disasters – a lot of outside influences can confuse your statistics. When you look at the months across time, you will begin to see the week day averages dip and peak to establish which days of the week are your most heavily visited days.
What Time and Day Should I Publish In Order to Get The Most Traffic?
Like the previous questions, the answer is: it depends.
It depends upon what your goals are. If your goals are to get the most attention to your blog post because you feel it is an important issue that many will respond to and want to share with others, then publish at a time and day before your readers show up, so it’s waiting for them.
If you want to publish in order to increase your blog’s traffic, you need to publish not only before the most traffic arrives, but before the most vocal of your traffic arrives.
To time high quality, “recommendable” content, post content that should get you a good return on links and trackbacks, thus increasing its visibility, you want to publish on a day of the week when you have the most readers, but also the most readers who are likely to blog and have big mouths across the social media networks.
In my ongoing series on Exploring Social Media on the Blog Herald, I write about how to reach out to others and network using new online social media tools, but nothing works better to spread the word than telling those who have the ability to spread the word. Time your posts accordingly and you’ll get good coverage and attention to your blog content.
With the ease of the future post feature, allowing you to publish your blog posts when you want and have time to generate them, then releasing them on a schedule you control, it’s easier than ever to write a great post, schedule it for Monday, and then spend three days promoting it across the social media networks in anticipation of it’s publishing time and date. This encourages attention and traffic so your audience is waiting for it when it comes out the publishing door, much like the wait for the early morning newspapers after the launch of a Broadway production, eager to get the first editions.
There is a lot that goes into making a blog post effective for traffic and visibility that has little to do with the average ebb and flow of your web traffic. However, understanding the best time and day of the week to publish, you can take advantage of the currents to maximize the return.
What Time and Day Should I Publish to Get The Most Comments?
Comments are different from reader visits. Your regular readers arrive when it is convenient to them, and may or may not influence the number of comments you get at any one time. I’ve had blog posts get ten thousand hits a day with nary a comment, while others get 50 visits and 20 comments.
I’ve had blog posts I was sure would get tons of comments and got two. I’ve also had blog posts that I knew didn’t deserve comments because there was nothing to say other than “Good job. Thanks.” Yet, they got dozens of comments. It’s a hard metric to figure out and plan for and each blog is unique in respect to content and comment results.
In general, Lorelle on WordPress gets the most comments early in the week with few by the end of the week. That holds true for the Blog Herald and other blogs I work with, except those that that encourage content-drive comments. Then the comment rate is in direct proportion to the number and content of posts. The more the posts require comments, the more likely they are to get them, irrespective of when they were published.
If you train your readers to comment, especially on regularly scheduled blog posts that encourage comments, then that is the time you will get the most blog interaction, irrespective of traffic.
What Are Your Answers to When Should You Publish on Your Blog?
I can only speak for my stats and experiences, but what about you. With access to improved stats programs and WordPress Plugins like WordPress.com Stats, Google Analytics, and Woopra, we have many ways of measuring our blog’s visits and readership and testing the waters to determine when is the best time and day to publish.
What have you learned? Do your numbers match mine? What works best for you and your blog?
UPDATE 2010: When’s the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts? on ProBlogger by HubSpot’s social media scientist, Dan Zarrella, looks at more reliable statistics to help answer the question. The new research looks at modern social media communication and marketing distribution to drive traffic and other data. For the most part, blog reading stats match my own ongoing research. While traffic can arrive at any time, especially when inspired by social media marketing strategies, but when you boil it down to return readers, publish your content before your readers show up, ready to read, whenever that is.
- If I was to start writing blogging today I would…
- Showing Dates Not Just Times in Your Multi-Post Views</li
- Not Just Another “Top Lessons for Bloggers”
- The Magic and Fun of Incoming Links
- What’s Blocking Your Blogging Path?
- Speed Blogging: What is Getting In Your Blog’s Way
- Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts
- What Would You Do Different If You Started Your Blog Over?
- What Can The Blogger Do to Make Me a Regular Reader?
- The Best Bloggers Edit
- How Do You Know If a Blog Has Integrity?
- How to Handle Tough Questions (and Comments) from an Audience
- Display Post Excerpts Only in WordPress
- Technical Tips for Publishing a Series of Articles on Your Blog
- When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog?
- What Have You Learned from the Blogging Experience?
- Do You Update Posts or Post Updates?
- Hook, Line and Sinker: Luring Blog Traffic to Stay
- Testing Search Engine Page Ranking Techniques
- The Key to Blogging Success: Perseverance
Site Search Tags: best time and day to publish, publishing times, when to publish, blog publishing times, when to post on your blog, blog post, when to publish on your blog, what is the best time, what is the best day, publishing posts, blog writing, blog publishing, web analytics, web stats, stats, statistics, web statistics, blog stats, blog statistics